The Role of Technology in Streamlining Street-Sweeping Businesses

How many times have you heard the phrase “time is money” when talking about best business practices?

While it’s a cliche, it’s based on a truthful premise. The longer a task takes, the more expensive it becomes to action. Where a business needs to take on more customers to expand, streamlining a process is crucial. When trying to grow, streamlining your processes so they are as efficient as possible can be the difference between shutting your business down or expanding your operations.

Increasingly, street-sweeping businesses are turning to technology to drive them forward. Technology can save money, improve efficiency, and automate repetitive tasks to free up employees to carry out more complex (and important) projects.

Let’s look at how technology can benefit a street-sweeping operation.

What Are the Traditional Challenges in Street Sweeping?

Traditional street-sweeping businesses face a number of challenges. Many rely on manual processes to handle data, update systems, and manage finances. Any manual operation is prone to errors, i.e., data entry mistakes. Manual processes are also slow and labor-intensive, making them difficult to scale.

Some tasks are often too complex for a human to plan efficiently. Route planning for multiple teams and machines can be time-consuming and so difficult that the only way to make the planning as efficient as possible is to introduce a technology-based tool.

Other challenges include equipment costs and maintenance, with the specialist equipment required for street sweeping being expensive to purchase and keep in good order. 

Finally, there are the manual processes often found in the back office. From HR to training, many companies still process these tasks manually. Technology can help staff be more efficient, minimize data errors, and support employees out in the field.

What are the Technological Solutions that Benefit Street-Sweeping Businesses?

Technology can be the answer to the challenges faced by a more traditional business. Areas where technology can provide benefits include:

  • GPS technology for route optimization: Tracking vehicles in real-time can help optimize routes. Vehicle tracking and route optimization also support improved fuel efficiency, which, in turn, reduces fuel costs.
  • Automated street-sweeping equipment: Newer models of street-sweepers have the ability to automate some or all of their functions, helping to save time and labor costs.
  • Data analytics for performance monitoring: Analysing data from all areas of the business can help to improve efficiency. Paying close attention to customer data, particularly around sales, can help determine which products and services you should be offering. Data analytics is also extremely useful for managing your fleet of vehicles and equipment, allowing you to determine when and how frequently vehicles should be checked and undergo maintenance.
  • Environmental considerations: Running an environmentally friendly business is becoming more important, and technology can assist. From eco-friendly cleaning products and technologies to low-emission sweepers, technology can be utilized to improve your business.

Challenges in Adopting Technology and Future Trends in Street-Sweeping

While many technologies are available to street-sweeping businesses, there is some resistance. Introducing changes can be both risky and expensive, so it’s important to research thoroughly and take advice from a trusted source.

It’s also important to look to the future; technological changes move fast, and new developments occur almost daily. Several municipalities are using AI worldwide to help measure litter in real time and indicate which areas need cleaning most urgently. A system used in Chatel-St-Denis in Switzerland uses cameras attached to buses and other municipal vehicles to identify different litter categories and sort that information by location and amount. That data is then used to determine which areas get cleaned first.

We’ve touched on the technological innovation available to street-sweeping businesses currently, and while many of the examples require a considerable investment, careful planning and research will help guide you toward making decisions that will ultimately benefit your business.

As the technologies develop further, costs will fall and enable more efficiency, freeing you up to concentrate on building your business.

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